Raising Voices

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Harnessing the Power of Faith

SASA! Faith is an adaptation of the SASA! Activist Kit. It is a community mobilization approach for preventing violence against women in faith communities through the values of justice, peace and dignity.

SASA! Faith takes the structure, process and content of the SASA! Activist Kit and adapts it for use by religious communities. SASA! Faith focuses on Christianity and Islam because it originated in Africa, where these are the two major religions. However, it was created with a global focus and can be further adapted to any faith in any country.

Why are faith communities so powerful in creating change?

We developed SASA! Faith because of the incredible power of faith communities to prevent violence against women and HIV. Faith communities can lead the way for several critical reasons:

  • Religious community members are guided by their faith. Many women experiencing violence and men using violence look to their religious leaders, to friends from their mosque or church, and to the teachings of their religion for guidance and support for change.
  • One purpose of faith is to improve society. Christianity and Islam have a long history of working for justice and helping those in need. They also hold as a primary mission the transformation of human society to reflect faith values.
  • Faith communities have the trust that is needed for change. Religious leaders have the trust of a large and committed body of believers who are eager to listen and live their lives based on these leaders’ guidance and religious principles. Similarly, there is a special trust that often exists among members of a religion.
  • Faith brings people together for change. Religious institutions often have well-organized networks of people in both urban and rural areas, as well as allies at all levels interested in supporting their efforts. Day to day, homilies or sermons, prayer groups and other faith-based activities bring the same people together again and again, and in doing so, shape those people’s attitudes and behaviors.
sasa faith
Who can use SASA! Faith?

SASA! Faith can be initiated by anyone who cares about violence in their faith community. For example:

  • A dedicated office or group within a faith community (e.g., the Catholic Church’s women’s desk or Islamic halaqat)
  • An influential religious leader or faith community member who has the interest, connections and passion to put SASA! Faith into action
  • A non-governmental organization that works closely with faith communities
  • And more!

Wherever the spark to start SASA! Faith comes from, it requires a whole team of individuals and groups within the faith community to create positive and lasting change. For whomever chooses to initiate SASA! Faith, the guide includes all the steps for gaining support from religious leaders and for creating the larger team and network that will be needed.

What values shape SASA! Faith?

Justice, peace and dignity are fundamental to the health and happiness of individuals, families and communities. They are interconnected and critical tools for preventing violence, and they shape SASA! Faith.

What activities are found in SASA! Faith?

Changing community norms is not simply about doing lots of things with lots of people. Each phase of SASA! Faith offers a strategic selection of activities that ensures two things for changing community norms: (1) that SASA! Faith reaches all circles of influence, and (2) that people encounter SASA! Faith through multiple influences in their lives.

Examples of SASA! Faith activities include:

  • Religious Leaders Seminar, Quarterly Meeting Notes and Sermon Notes enabling busy religious leaders to stay engaged and use their voices
  • Christian and Muslim Discussion Guides and Sermon Notes enabling faith programs and social groups to explore the ideas of SASA! Faith through interpretations of holy texts
  • Dramas, Posters and Conversation Guides enabling conversations to come alive in small groups, before events, and between friends and neighbors
  • Radio and Story Ideas enabling faith-based media to bring the ideas of SASA! Faith to the airways and more.

Many materials are faith-specific (i.e., with a Muslim and Christian version, using their respective holy books), while others are suitable for both religions.

What tools and guidance are available for implementing SASA! Faith?

<i>SASA!</i> Faith

SASA! Faith

SASA! Faith is an initiative in which leaders, members and believers of a religion come together to prevent violence against women and HIV.

SASA! Faith, Brochure

SASA! Faith, Brochure

An overview of SASA! Faith, including what it is, why it was created, and how it works!